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We know that fostering isn’t about a ‘one size fit all’ approach to childcare - no two children are the same.

There are children and young people from a variety of backgrounds who need foster carers; all require different skills and varying levels of commitment.

Foster care doesn’t necessarily mean 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some children will need to be looked after for only a day or a week, whilst others will need care every day until they reach adulthood. There is no set pattern – it all depends on the foster carers and what they feel they can offer.

Different types of fostering placements are offered, so that your role as a foster carer is compatible with you and your family life. During your assessment, we’ll help you prepare for these different types of placement and find out which would be best for you.

Short-term

Many children need care for only a limited time – this could be for a few weeks whilst arrangements are being made for their care, months or even a couple of years. Some children may return home, while others may move to long-term foster carers. Others become adopted or subject to Special Guardianship.

Long-term

If it is not possible for a child to return to their own family, nor is adoption possible, they will need permanent foster care until they are ready to move on which is often until the young person turns eighteen. This enables children to strive in a stable home and for foster carers and their families to develop strong, rewarding relationships with children and young people on a more permanent basis.

Emergency

Emergency placements often occur as a result of a parent becoming ill and needing hospital care, or because a child needs to be removed straight away due to it being deemed unsafe for them to stay at home. Mainly these are just overnight or weekend placements.

Respite

Respite care is about looking after a child to support a family in crisis or in specific cases to provide support to full-time foster carers during school holidays. This may be for days or weeks, while support is given to the family or alternative plans are made.